by: Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
September 23, 2015
September 23, 2015
It seems like when you move into a new place, you have plenty of energy and get started unpacking and placing everything just so right away. But somehow, sometimes even before the last box is unpacked, you lose your way. Other obligations crop up and before you know it, you’ve been living in your home for years, collecting more junk without a place for it. And eventually your home is suddenly much smaller as everything begins to amount to clutter. But you don’t have to live this way forever.
Once you decide to clean and declutter your home, the process can become fun and enjoyable rather than a dreaded chore. And don’t feel pressure to get everything done quickly. Some people may only need an hour to clear up a space. Others can start with one cluttered corner in a living room and then move on, taking a month to go from kitchen to bathroom and clearing up space. The key is to have a plan of attack. Here is how you can go from cluttered to clean without spending a lot of time or money.
Many people get inspired to clean house when storage items go on sale. You can spend a fortune on bins and baskets without even know what you really need. And you may find that you’ve bought too many of those cute little baskets or that those clever storage bins don’t really fit under your bed. Instead of buying first, get organized.
Start with an area that has really been bugging you, like the corner of the living room that you never use and has gradually filled up with everything from old bills to toys that no longer get playtime.
From the pile, pull out everything you want to keep—like the bills. Then donate or trash anything that you no longer use—like the noisy toy your kid got for Christmas. Now you can see what you really need, for instance a desk organizer that will separate your paid bills from the ones you still need to pay.
When it comes to storage solutions, everything should go in a place where it will really get used. It may seem logical to keep sunscreen in the bathroom cabinet, but it likely sits there forgotten, amongst a collection of sunscreen tubes. To prevent this, make your decluttering efforts practical. Use a bin or basket or tub and place it by the door or in your mudroom. In the summer, fill it with stuff that you forget as you run out of the house—like sunscreen and sunglasses. In the winter, transform the basket in your entryway into a winter wonderland of gloves and hats that can be quickly grabbed without breaking your stride. If they’re hiding in the back of the closet, you might forget about that umbrella and catch a chill.
Labelmakers have become somewhat passé and considered a useless gift, but labeling items is actually very useful. Items put into storage benefit best from labelmaker labels, but you can get creative with labels too. In a kid’s room, use chalkboard labels to organize toys or drawers. You can even use chalkboard labels in the kitchen as a cute way to let your guests know where to place your glasses and dishes.
Whenever you instill a new organizational system, whether it is a home office with separate files or a new place for toys and sunscreen, it will take a while to catch on. Be patient, you’ll eventually get the hang of the new system and eventually your entire home will catch up with you.
Carly Zinderman is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects including food, travel, beauty, fashion and home decor. When she is not writing, she is constantly rearranging her furniture and seeking interior design inspiration.